Nature Blog Network

New Year Plant Hunt

The Botanical Society for Britain and Ireland hold a New Year Plant Hunt in which volunteers study their patch for 1-3 hours between January 1st and 4th, looking for higher plants in flower. This was the first year I had come across this survey and, inspired by the pictures on social media of numerous plants in flower in various parts of the country I trotted off for a gander along the Lane and New Cross Meadow armed with a notebook and a camera.

There wasn't a single plant in flower. Not one. Whilst the survey is only looking at wild and naturalised species, there wasn't even a garden plant in flower.

In a way I shouldn't have been surprised. The patch is mainly clay ground which saturates easily and is currently waterlogged. It is also a wilding meadow which is showing signs of previous nitrogen enrichment with a preponderance of N2 loving species.

Previous results suggest that urban areas with sheltered corners, plants with 'high seed production' flowers and garden escapes tend to produce high returns. Not here, then. It will be interesting when this year's results are in to see whether anyone found anything in flower in East Lancs.

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